Many of the things we do, day to day, are the same. We like to think we’re special and creative, but I think it’s important to see how robotic we are as well.
Take your normal morning ritual, for example. What does it look like? Most of the time when I get up in the morning, I get out of bed, have a shower, have breakfast, sit at the computer while I drink my coffee, brush my teeth and then get started on whatever I need to do for the day. My pre-sleep ritual is probably followed even more strictly.
These are routines which I go through in pretty much the same manner, day in, day out. They happen without thought, without emotion, without pause.
What makes routines powerful is if you integrate some kind of meaningful behaviour or action into them. They don’t even have to be daily routines either – weekly or monthly routines work just as well.
Like I wrote about previously with learning to floss my teeth, it can be struggle to integrate new behaviours into a routine. But I’m happy to say that my pre-sleep routine now involves teeth-flossing and it happens without struggle. And once something becomes just part of who you are, you know it’s been integrated well.
So how can you integrate new activities into your routines? Everyone’s situation is different, and so the most effective strategy would be to make use of personal coaching. But if you’re going to do it yourself, you may have to experiment. Here are some ideas:
- Set reminders in your phone (I use Any.do)
- Lie to yourself
- Schedule blocks of time in your calendar (and set reminders for those events)
- Change who you think you are
- Take a look at this list
It’s your life. Take control.